RACE, RELIGION + SOCIAL JUSTICE

Recent study ranks Utah among top ten for instances of white supremacist propaganda

Mar 17, 2023, 6:00 PM

Authorities arrest members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front near an Idaho pride event S...

Authorities arrest members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front near an Idaho pride event Saturday, June 11, 2022, after they were found packed into the back of a U-Haul truck with riot gear. (Georji Brown via AP)

(Georji Brown via AP)

SALT LAKE CITY — According to a recent study, Utah ranks seventh in the country for instances of white supremacist propaganda. But why?

According to a study from the Anti-Defamation League, 2022 broke the record for white supremacist propaganda nationally.

There were 222 propaganda events in Utah last year. These ranged from banners over I-215 with the slogan “Reclaim America,” to stickers around Salt Lake that say “Revolution is tradition.” Most of these pieces come from the Neo-Nazi group Patriot Front, which advocates for America to become a white ethnostate.

University of Utah Professor Richard Medina studies extremist movements. He says white supremacist groups want to recruit from The Beehive State.

“Utah looks like a good target to do this,” he says. “I think … having the demographics that Utah has, having a younger population [and] having a university. A lot of these groups are trying to capitalize on … young, mostly white, males.”

Often white supremacist groups looking to recruit in Utah are based out of the state, according to Medina.

“These groups are typically not housed in Utah. They’re coming from other states and other parts of the country,” he says. “And, they’re joining in these different places to try to gain recruits. I don’t want to say it’s a cry for help, but it is trying to bring attention to these groups so they can get more recruits.”

Despite the high propaganda numbers, Utah actually ranks lower for states with extremist violence and anti-semitic incidents.

Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.

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Recent study ranks Utah among top ten for instances of white supremacist propaganda